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Old 06-09-2016, 19:25   #31

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,118
Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?


You are on the right track, but do realize that a 30 foot boat is a LOT smaller than, say, a 30 foot camping trailer.

TrentePieds is just that - 30 feet - and she is BIG for a thirty-footer. Now it happens that I have sailed all my life, generally in boats smaller than TrentePieds except for a stint in my youth as a sailing instructor in a 65 foot ketch. MyBeloved had NEVER so much as set foot in a boat till she came to retirement age. She just absolutely loves TrentePieds, partly because it gets her away from a trying job in which she still has three month to go, partly because she is a neat-freak and finds that keeping a "home" of, effectively, 30 square feet of floor area neat and tidy is a lot easier than it is to keep an 800 foot condo let alone a 4K foot house mit yard, neat and tidy. That's right! A thirty footer has about 30 square feet of floor area ("cabin sole" to the initiated).

But in a thirty footer two grown people CANNOT pass each other in the saloon (cabin) without making body contact. Sometimes that's good, sometimes it's not :-). In a thirty-footer you CANNOT have a "real" shower cos you cannot install a water heater without having to sacrifice something else. In a thirty-footer you cannot have a freezer without having to sacrifice something else.

The upshot of it all is that living PERMANENTLY afloat (as opposed to "camping out on long weekends) is a kettle of fish of a QUITE different colour from living ashore, and there is only one way to find out if you can tolerate the adjustments to your modus vivendi that a sailboat will impose on you. And that is to try it.

So don't spend money on buying till you've proven to yourself via renting/chartering/crewing that you have what it takes to "live small". Keep your shore base till there is not a shadow of a doubt that you were cut out to be a sailor.

When the time comes to buy, do realize that just about the only thing you will not be able to do yourself, or be able to learn to do yourself, is repair a worn out diesel engine. In this department, do realize that to pull an engine out and repair it and put it back in costs very nearly as much as pulling an old engine out and replacing it with a new one.

Because MyBeloved is not mechanically inclined, and because I've come to loathe repairing engines, we bit the bullet, and a brand new engine is going into TrentePieds this week. For reliability's sake. I flatter myself that there would not be many "problems" at sea in TrentePieds I couldn't sort out and bring us back home, but if I pop a gasket (after all, I'm an antiquity), there would only be ONE way for MyBeloved to bring herself home, and that would be by having a RELIABLE engine. She has time left in her life to become a competent AB (Able-bodied seaman), but there isn't enuff time left in her life for her to become a competent skipper.

We got TrentePieds for a song. By the time I've written the cheque for the new engine the "investment" will amount to what the boat was originally listed for. That cheque will be for just about the same amount as the purchase price. But she will have a NEW, RELIABLE engine, and she'll live to be a hundred.

So think on those things before the romance of the seafaring life makes you a victim :-)

All the best

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